How to Make a Million Dollars


Millionaire Strategies
You could always hit it big at a casino and make a lot of cash -- but the odds of becoming a millionaire aren't good.
You could always hit it big at a casino and make a lot of cash -- but the odds of becoming a millionaire aren't good.

Now we answer the question you've been dying to know: How can I become a millionaire?

Most millionaires are self-made people. They set a goal to become a millionaire -- or at least a goal to achieve financial freedom. Some invested in a higher education that set them on some of the world's most lucrative career paths -- physician, lawyer or CEO, to name a few -- and then implemented aggressive saving and investing strategies.

Others (in fact, most) took an entrepreneurial approach by turning a good idea into a successful business. Although people who are self-employed make up less than 20 percent of the workforce in the U.S., they comprise a whopping two-thirds of the nation's millionaires [source: Stanley].

Of course, starting your own business means taking risks, but with the right idea and a good marketing plan, success could be yours. Some of the hottest sectors include green construction, which is expected to reach a value of $140 billion by 2013, and mobile app development. In 2012, there were about 1 million apps available in Apple's App Store and Google's Android Market, with more being added each day. In the App Store, for example, monthly user downloads reached the 1 billion mark in 2012. Sell just a fraction of this figure -- say, 500,000 apps -- for $2 each, and you'll earn a million dollars [source: Thurner]. We'll explore more millionaire-maker ideas in an upcoming section, too.

Another strategy involves a degree of luck and skill. If you have extreme athletic talent, you stand a chance of making millions as a professional athlete. LeBron James, for example, went straight from high school to the NBA and got a $90 million contract from Nike before he had even played a single professional basketball game [source: ESPN]. However, the four professional sports leagues together in North America employ fewer than 5,000 athletes [source: Simpson].

Or, you could set your sights on Hollywood and becoming a highly paid actor. Unfortunately, the odds are one in 1.5 million that you'll become a movie star [source: Carter]. You'll encounter similar statistics if you're an aspiring singer or author, too.

Of course, not all millionaires are self-made. Another way to become a millionaire is to be born into a family with a high net worth, as long as the family is willing to divest some of its funds toward your future. Take Paris Hilton, for example. She is the great-granddaughter of Conrad Hilton, who founded the Hilton Hotels chain, and subsequently created some of the wealthiest heirs in the world [source: Biography]. Even if you're not born to wealth, you can always take a shot at marrying into it, provided you get to know people in these high income brackets.

Finally, a lucky few win the lottery, hit it big in Las Vegas or win a load of cash on a game show. The odds of this happening are in the same territory as becoming a movie star.

If you'd rather not leave your million-dollar goal to chance, it's a good idea to discover how saving and investing can boost your odds. We'll explore this is more detail in the next section.

Finance Planning Tips

Here are some tips to help you with generating income and planning for the future.

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